Monday, June 21, 2021

Rookie Parade

In the past few weeks, I posted all the 1967 and 1968 rookie stars cards. Today we have all the 1969 rookie stars cards. 

Comparison of the 3 sets: 
1967 set 
Total cards - 43 
Teams with 3 cards - 5 
Teams with 2 cards - 9 
Teams with 1 card - 6 
Mixed teams - 4 cards 
1968 set 
Total cards - 30 
Teams with 3 cards - Orioles 
Teams with 2 cards - 6 
Teams with 1 card - 12 
Teams with 0 cards - Giants 
Mixed teams - 3 cards 
1969 set 
Total cards - 52 
Teams with 4 cards - Padres, Royals 
Teams with 3 cards - 6 
Teams with 2 cards - 7 
Teams with 1 card - 8 
Teams with 0 cards - Senators 
Mixed teams - 4 cards 
As with the Giants in the 1968 set, there is no rookie stars card for the Senators here. The Senators had no major prospects, but Topps couldn't slap 2 schmoes on a Senators card, like they did here for the Angels and Athletics? 
Two teams had a whopping FOUR rookie stars cards. 
Of course they are expansion teams, whose rosters were filled with youngsters looking for a shot at the big leagues.
Bill Davis is back for the fifth of his FIVE rookie stars cards, this time not with the Indians. 
Six teams had three rookie stars cards:
Not much to talk about here. Carl Morton's breakout year was 1970. 
Probably the best rookie stars card in the 1969 set is the Richie Hebner/Al Oliver card. It's the only one where both players became stars. The Phillies' Larry Hisle and Don Money both became regulars. Sure, the Phillies were a bad team filled with holes, but Hisle and Money were both selected to the Topps All-Rookie team at the end of the season. 
Carlos May was the most successful of these 14 players. 
Seven teams had two cards: 

After trading Joe Torre, the Braves carried two rookie catchers in 1969. Bob Didier ended up as the starter. As a kid, I thought that 2nd Cubs card looked strange. One guy has no ears, while the other two have ears to spare. 

What, no George Korince? Topps finally stopped putting Korince on Tigers Rookies cards, ending the possibility of another Bill Davis-type run. Still, Korince appeared on TWO rookie cards in one year, something Davis didn't achieve. 
Graig Nettles is the best of this bunch. With a name like MITTerwald, you just knew he had to be a catcher. 
Eight teams had just one rookie stars card:
After several seasons having three rookie cards, the Orioles had just one in the 1969 set. I guess their top-notch roster had no room for any more rookies. This is Lou Piniella's 4th rookie stars card (each with a different team). He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1969, so this would be his last rookies card. 
No Senators rookie card? Topps was just lazy here. After some of the players found on these cards over the years, Topps can't use "lack of prospects" as an excuse. 
Finally, the "miscellaneous rookies from multiple teams" cards.
My contention has always been that Topps decided on the players for these high-numbered cards after the current season had already started. Hard to believe Rollie Fingers was an afterthought. 

And why John Miller? Isn't a player automatically not a "star" when his stated position is "INF-OF"?


Kraft1963 said...

I have a sort-of off-topic question. On the back of card 181 (of 1969), the card lists the pitcher's (Mel Nelson) era as 54 for 1967. He pitched 1 game - 13 innings. How can this be? Did he allow over 70 runs in one game? He did not get the loss. Did his team score more than 70 runs in the same game? He gave up no strikeouts or BB.

Jim from Downingtown said...

According to, Nelson pitched one-third of an inning that season, not 13 innings. He gave up 2 earned runs in that time. So that averages out to 6 earned runs per inning, and 54 runs per 9 innings. (ERA is based on 9 innings.)

Whatever his team scored is irrelevant to his own ERA.

Kraft1963 said...

I have another off-topic question about 1969. Card #214 (the third checklist) contains a separate list of "Special Autographed Photos." There are 33 of them. I can find no reference to these cards on e-bay or Amazon or elsewhere. Have you ever seen one of these? Do you know where they are displayed online? Thanks.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Hi Kraft, sorry for the slow comment moderation.

These were the so-called "deckle-edge" cards. There were actually 35 of them, because 2 were replaced due to trades, and Topps wanted each team to be represented at least once.

Kraft1963 said...

Which two were left off of the checklist? Thanks.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Neither. The same card number was used for both versions of the player. Topps just redesigned them mid-stream.

Go to my blog index (the large red "JD" in the sidebar) and look for Clay Dalrymple and Curt Flood to see them. (Yes, the 1969 Donn Clendenon cards are in the Curt Flood post. lol)

Jim from Downingtown said...

(The 1970 Curt Flood post, not

Also, the blog index is accessed by clicking the red JD midway down the sidebar, not the one in the About Me section at the top.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Sorry Kraft. I just re-read my last 2 comments and realized I must have confused you.

Yiu were asking about the extra deckle-edge cards, abd in mid-thread, I switched to talking about the extra Dalrymple and Clendenon base cards.

But the 2 extra deckle-edge cards used the same numbers as the 2 players they replaced. It was all because of some off-season trades, and Topps wanted all 24 teams to still be represented in the deckle-edge set.

Check the labels for my 1969 set blog. IIRC, I either posted all the deckle cards, or a link to someone else that had done so.